The Rivers State Government has vowed to arrest individuals or groups disguising as government agents to sell illegal tickets to commercial vehicle operators in the state.
The Commissioner for Transport, Osima Gina, stated this in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Thursday.
Gina was reacting to the clash between drivers and suspected touts at the Eleme juncrion end of Aba Road in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
Business activities were disrupted in the Eleme-Oyigbo area when bus drivers blocked the road in protest against the alleged harassment by touts.
It was said that a bus driver, identified only as Nse, was beaten up during a disagreement between the driver and persons suspected to be touts.
Gina, who said those extorting money from commercial drivers were not working for the state government, urged them to desist from such practice in their own interest.
He said, “We are partnering security agencies to see that we arrest and prosecuted them.
We are also partnering the National Union of Road Transport Workers to ensure that we identify those who are legally allowed by the union to do their work.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Rivers State Drivers Corporative Union, Binoye Sunday, had accused the state government of treating touting and multiple taxation with kid gloves.
He said, “The government is not bothered about the predicament of drivers. Rather. If you go to the communities, traditional rulers bring ticket, CDCs bring ticket and the councils bring ticket.”